Discussion in 'Leicester City' started by Brown Nose, Dec 8, 2015.
Old news. It was posted here a year ago when it was published.
This one isn't going to do my reputation any favours, but came across this earlier.
Marhez and Vardy's WAGs possibly heading into the Jungle.
A sign of our new found status I suppose, but I really hope they don't end up in there.
Mahrez heading into the jungle with Vardy's WAGs? That leaves a few questions...
If Mahrez goes into the jungle we'll never see him, he'll be surounded by 3 or 4 trees continually.
According to KPMG we are the 16th most valuable club in Europe. Couldn't find Forest on the list.
How long can Manu stay no.1 without winning the prem or the CL?
The type of defeatist thinking that ought to see him shipped off to Newcastle as quickly as possible.
The league is so weak we should have been top 6 this season without breaking a sweat. No reason that top 6 is too difficult next season either as long as we get rid of the chaff and upgrade players like him.
It's all about marketing.
Still need a product to market.
The name is the product.
Only whilst the team is winning.
There are countless examples of inferior products being more successful than something better, due to more successful marketing.
Foxes Talk innit.
10 years of winning nothing and you can get back to me.
Winning the FA Cup and the Europa League keeps them in the spotlight as far as marketing is concerned.
Times article about Vicente...
Vicente Iborra finds Leicester’s unity is familiar to that of his former club Levante
Jonathan Northcroft, Football correspondent
Mister, it’s God’s business, if you need me I’m going to play,” he told the manager and play he did, coming on with 24 minutes left to help Levante close out the win. Only at full-time, leaving the pitch, did he allow his tears to come. They were for Alma. A beautiful name; Spanish for “soul.” Alma was Vicente Iborra’s first child, who was born prematurely and died aged five days, in December 2011. The morning after her passing, he had simply turned up for training and put in his customary committed shift.
The day after that was match day, when he told Juan Ignacio Martinez, his boss, to put him in and when his 24 minutes helped Levante beat Sevilla 1-0. Nano, the scorer, dedicated his goal to Alma. “It was an emotive moment, a moment I will remember for all my life,” Iborra says.
We all deal with grief differently. Sitting with this gentle, gentlemanly Spaniard inside Leicester’s training ground on a sunny morning, it is hard to comprehend how he found the strength but Martinez’s tribute to his player at the time sounds apt. “His professionalism came above everything else.”
And, softly, Iborra tries to explain. “The most important thing is to continue fighting,” he says. “My team, my teammates, are my second family. I wanted to help them win that game, because they helped me in the previous days. I wanted to fight for them. I couldn’t do any more [for Alma and Arantxa, his wife] and football is very important to me. I thought the best way to continue my life was to keep playing with my second family.”
Finding strength in the group. Putting team above self. Iborra is an example of the values that brought Leicester a miracle not so very long ago.
If it feels the club have lost direction, maybe new manager Claude Puel is not the only figure Leicester can rally round. Iborra, outstanding since finally gaining fitness after a £12.5m summer move, seems a potential rock — on the pitch, but also in the dressing room.
Back in 2011-12, Levante were Leicester’s Spanish precursor. Collectivity propelled the little Valencian club to the top of La Liga going into November and they finished sixth, to reach the Europa League. Just two seasons previously they had been in the second tier and rebuilding after financial trouble reduced the squad at one point to four. “Our secret was our unity, and it was similar to here,” Iborra says.
“A very humble team. A humble club. No stars in the dressing room and we all fight together.” Even now, the old gang meet up for epic group meals of paella, which Iborra joins when he is back in town. “We speak to each other every week,” he says. “They are important for me because I was only 19 when I started playing in that team and 21, 22 when we climbed to La Liga. A lot of those guys were veterans and I learnt from them, they helped me grow up.”
Iborra is from Moncada, a small town to Valencia’s north, where his mother cleaned houses and his father was maintenance man for a seminary. As a kid, he played football with the trainee priests. He always played with elders. Aged four, his dad tried enrolling him at Moncada’s soccer school, but was turned away because the minimum age was six, so he joined another club. But was unable to play in games when the referee asked for ID, because he was still too young.
Always competing with bigger lads meant “I learnt to fight. And I also learnt to think.” He was puny, he says, but at 15 he shot up and filled out. Now he is tall, powerful, broad-chested.
Monchi, the fabled sporting director, took him from Levante to Sevilla and there he became captain, winning three Europa Leagues. Nearing 30, he felt it was time to fulfil an ambition to play in England, experience English culture and learn the English language. Though an interpreter is with us, he pushes on, answering slowly and deliberately and doing rather well in his new tongue. A teacher comes to his house in the village of Countesthorpe, for lessons twice a week.
Before joining Leicester he was already a fan. In 2015-16, in the Sevilla dressing room, “we were watching and hoping for Leicester,” he reveals. “I identified with the club, with the culture and I recognised their achievement was very important — for the world.”
Strong, cultured and composed as a holding player in the victory at Swansea last time out, Iborra is also comfortable in an attacking role. He is the third player in Spanish top-flight history to score a hat-trick as a substitute and has “no preference,” where he plays. Team man.
A groin injury meant he did not appear until September. “It was frustrating because I wanted to play and wanted to help,” he says. “But now I am 100%”
We are speaking just before a meeting where Leicester’s players are being introduced to Puel for the first time. The squad is “a little sad” that Craig Shakespeare lost the job, he admits. “It was a difficult start to the season. We played against very strong teams and in football the most important thing is results. We were working very well in the week and when the game arrived we didn’t win.”
Leicestershire life is “very quiet, tranquilo.” He and Arantxa have two sons now. “They go to school and enjoy playing with their new friends. My wife goes to the gym because for her it’s difficult, she doesn’t know anyone yet.” Unlike Iborra. He has his new “second family”.
A few interesting bits in the BBC's stats article today...
"Leicester - targeting the top again?
Leicester may already be on to their second permanent manager of the season but, despite a perception they have struggled following a winless run of six league games which led to Craig Shakespeare's departure, scratch beneath the surface and the signs are actually encouraging for new boss Claude Puel.
Not only have the Foxes taken seven points from their past three league matches, including a win and a draw in the Frenchman's two games in charge, but expected goals tells us they are performing better than their overall results suggest.
And that is one of the strengths of the expected goals metric - it can highlight underlying performance, both good and bad.
For example, in 2015-16 Juventus won only three of their opening 10 Serie A games but their expected goal difference throughout that run was much higher than their actual goal difference.
That suggested they were dominating matches and creating chances - they just weren't taking them. Over time, their actual goal difference moved closer to their expected goal difference and they eventually strolled to the title.
Leicester's stats tells a similar story.
Despite only being the eighth highest scorers in the division, expected goals tells us they are creating the highest-quality chances in the league.
Opta determines that 14.8% of Leicester's openings ought to end in goals, based on how good an opportunity each one was. Champions Chelsea, by comparison, would only be expected to convert 8.4% of theirs.
Which teams are creating the best quality chances?
Team Expected goals for Shots attempted xG %
Leicester 16.82 114 14.8
Man City 27.55 194 14.2
Man Utd 19.8 157 12.6
Watford 15.71 131 12
Swansea 9.87 88 11.2
That is not to say Leicester are the best attacking team in the league, of course. Manchester City have the highest expected goals total, meaning they ought to be scoring more than any other side. But when the Foxes do create a chance, it is generally a good one.
And it is not only in attacking areas that Leicester are performing well.
They are the division's second-best side when it comes to restricting opponents to low-quality chances.
So, teams might be scoring against Leicester, but the chances they create are generally not particularly good ones. The Foxes would be expected to concede from just 7.3% of the shots they face - only Tottenham fare better in this regard.
Which teams are best at restricting opponents to low-quality chances?
Team Expected goals against Shots faced Ave. opponents' xG %
Tottenham 6.91 99 7
Leicester 12.85 177 7.3
Burnley 16.37 195 8.4
Chelsea 11.17 131 8.5
West Brom 13.43 150 9
Leicester, then, do not allow opponents many clear chances and they create really good openings. Not a bad recipe for a new manager to work with."
Huh? That sounds paradoxical. Does it matter the quality of the chance if the ball ends up in the back of the net? Off Mahrez's arse counted one against Swansea the same as his other two (one of which was offside) Opta to rate goals by quality next, judges with chalkboards on the sidelines.
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